Falling in Love

I love this life. I love this season with every ounce of my being. But sometimes I forget to enjoy the other things I love. Nature being one. Photography being another. Blogging being yet another. I feel so fortunate to live in a time where I can combine all the things I love so seamlessly. So here I am…just rambling and taking photos…

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Yes there is a 3rd one. She was on my back. Don’t worry…she will be photobombing this site very soon! Next time I’ll be sure to blog on yet another love…leggings and coffee. Oh and fuzzy slippers and cool weather and red and orange and yellow.

Namaste.

1 Year Old!

I think I’m still in denial that she’s a year old. I cannot quite wrap my mind around that fact. I’m writing this blog from the very place where I brought her into this world. Wasn’t that just yesterday?

With my first child, we had an Elmo-themed pool party. We invited all our friends and I scoured Pinterest for weeks! I’m so happy to say that I’ve finally demoted my pin-worthy dreams a little bit. I’m now quite pleased with some pretty pictures and a good time. And she seems to be quite happy with dirt and fall leaves…

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I absolutely love having an October baby! I don’t know what it is about this month that is so magical. Maybe it’s the pumpkins, or the morning mist, or the smell of crisp leaves….or the fact that the bugs are FINALLY going away (can I get an Amen?!). It seems so bizarre that we’re done with the year of firsts….1st Halloween, 1st Christmas, 1st Easter. What is it about having children that makes the years go by so quickly?

And I think I’ll leave this blog now before I start crying those sappy mommy tears that my baby is growing up…

Dang it! too late…

 

The End of Summer…the beginning of YouTube!

I’m so excited about both of these things! Summers are not my favorite, and this year has been no exception. It’s been hot and sometimes miserable, and the ever-present excitement of the new school year has been looming over my head…in a very good way. Kindergarten starts this year for my 5-year-old, and so our first year of “real” homeschooling begins!

And because that’s not challenging enough, I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel…mostly because I’ve been inside all summer thanks to the heat watching DIY videos, and I’m pretty super-inspired. And fall is on the way and so is school and fun and fun and fun…and yes, I’m pretty excited!!!!

So school is starting for us tomorrow! After testing the water for 2 years of preschool, I’ve determined that in order to homeschool we’re going to have to be year-round people. AKA…mama needs a break every 4-6 weeks, so we’re just going to shoot for small goals and go from there. I’m notorious for trying to pack WAY too much into our school time, something that I’ve had to learn the hard way this past year while trying to do school with a new baby. 4-6 time slots give me just enough time to cram in a whole lot, while giving myself a breather to rest and recharge. I’m pumped!

So a good ending to summer was a trip to a Sunflower Festival…pick as many free sunflowers as you’d like! It was wonderful! And while I know that we still have a solid 6 weeks left of summer, my planting guide is telling me to go ahead and plant some kale and broccoli, and the craft stores already have out their fall spread. So I’m calling it…goodbye summer, HELLO PUMPKIN SPICE!

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Rainy Days, Birthday Interviews, and Chickens

Being that I am chronically behind on things, I’m just now getting around to my 4-year-old’s birthday interview. Her birthday was in February. Don’t judge. It’s rude.
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The Toddler’s 2-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: Almond
How old are you? 3! (for the record, she’s 2)
Favorite Color: Mommy
Favorite Toy: Phone
Favorite Fruit: Raaawwwberries (Strawberries)
Favorite TV Show: Mim-Mim (Actually it’s either Daniel Tiger or Dora)
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Snack
Favorite Outfit: Sophia
Favorite Game: Sophia
Favorite Snack: Juit! (fruit)
Favorite Animal: Horsies
Favorite Song: Twinkle Tinkle
Favorite Book: Dance McDuffin Book(Doc McStuffins)
Best Friend: Daniel Tiger
Favorite Cereal: Mommy!
Favorite thing to do outside: Mommy Mommy Mommy
Favorite Drink: Hmmm…Water
Favorite Holiday: Hi
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: I wanna sleep with Mommy
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Cereal
What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna watch Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)
Favorite season of the year: Nothin
Favorite movie: Nothin
(I think by this point the 2 year old was done with questions)
The Preschooler’s 4-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: LaVera
How old are you? 4
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: The Kitchen
Favorite Fruit: Apple
Favorite TV Show: Octonauts
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Macaroni and Cheese
Favorite Outfit: Dresses
Favorite Game: Hide and Seek
Favorite Snack: Goldfish
Favorite Animal: Horses
Favorite Song: Twinkle
Favorite Book: Sophia
Best Friend: Brooklyn
Favorite Cereal: the circle one
Favorite thing to do outside: ball
Favorite Drink: juice
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: a book
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a Princess
Favorite season of the year: Winter
Favorite movie: Brave
Here in Virginia it’s been raining lately. Like…a lot! My poor garden is currently drowning, and I’m harvesting just as fast as I can eat my romaine and spinach before the slugs set it. I think at this point even they are drowning.
A few weeks ago, before the rain set in, I had a few days of crazy nesting energy. Our back yard has a creek in it, that looks much more like a ditch. It always has a flow of water in it, but by and large the water looked like a a black abyss that I certainly didn’t want my children playing in or around. At some point in the history of this almost 80-year-old home, someone decided to dump a large amount of trash around said creek. I have spent months slowly picking up piles and piles, and there’s still much to be cleaned up. But in those few days, I decided to do some digging. So I dug and dug and dug and dug out the ditch in order to help it flow a little better. I tried clearing some of the trash that was obstructing it (some of the trash includes rather large concrete slabs, which apparently pregnant women shouldn’t be trying to lift). A remarkable thing happened almost instantly after digging up part of the stream…the upstream cleaned itself the very next rainfall! I didn’t even have to dig! Just by clearing up some of the obstructions downstream, the rest of the stream flowed faster and easier. Sediment from upstream piled into the deep dark holes that I was previously very cautious about, and suddenly, apart from the remaining trash that still needs to be removed downstream, my ugly ditch turned overnight into a rather beautiful creek! I love mother nature! Giver her a little nurture and she’ll always do her part!
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Speaking of other things mother nature, we recently took a cast iron tub (one of the pieces of trash on our property) and created a pond out of it. I’ve been fiddling with the pH of the water for weeks now, trying to get it right before adding fish. I finally got it right enough to get some goldfish! Here’s the irony…I got them on Thursday, and on Friday I go to check on them and discover this:
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Overnight…the day after I got the fish, hundreds and hundred of tadpoles hatched. It’s ironic since I’m pretty sure the goldfish are currently snacking on them. If not, they’re starving, because they haven’t been to the surface for food since I got them. Regardless of the bad timing, I’m so excited to watch this tiny environment unfold. It’s so cool! And it’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn all about nature.DSC_0700
And in chicken news, we still have 11! I’m rethinking letting them free-range, though. I don’t mind the poop nearly as much as I do them eating my blueberry bushes. I told them that. They weren’t too happy about it. And we all know who rules to the roost in this family.
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Have a great Sunday!

All Things New!

I’m so excited spring is here! I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce that we have added to our family!

IMG_2216 IMG_2218 IMG_2219These little cuties are called Red Sex Link Pullets. I got 12, anticipating that probably 1/2 of them wouldn’t make it to adulthood. But 1 week into chicken-owning and thus far all 12 are doing great! Not sure what we’ll do with them once they outgrow the bathtub, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there….very shortly.

It’s so crazy….I can actually see them grow more and more every single day.  The pictures above are from the first day we got them. 3 days later I took this picture (observe their wings):

IMG_2250Yes, I’ve named all 12. Rather, the preschooler named them, of course. There’s Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Tweety, Alice, and the rest are Aunt Sara. Not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult….but we love you Sara!

We’ve been quite busy with spring planting and cleanup around our home. Unfortunately the dead of winter revealed about 20+ years worth of trash that had been dumped onto our property that mother nature had tried to cover up. Rusted wires and tin cans, bags of trash, old tarps, concrete slabs, rusted piping, beer and soda cans and bottles, and old tires are just a few of the lovelies we’ve found. I’ve cleaned up probably as much as I’m going to cleanup for now. There’s something about cleaning up other people trash that just makes me furious. I don’t know how people can treat the environment like this, let alone their own property! It really boggles my brain.

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But after I got over being furious at some previous owner, I planted the first garden of the season! It’s off to a rather slow start, but I’ll keep you updated on if it does anything. I’m notorious for planting things and having them die off shortly before harvest time. Hopefully that will not be the case.

IMG_2186Oh! And speaking of all things new, we have some exciting news to share!

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That’s right! #3 is due in October! We are so excited about our growing family! You know…excited and petrified at the same time. Funny how often those two things go hand in hand. I’m rapping up the first trimester, which I’m trilled about! I really think that first trimester is a personality-changer. Not only does it bring the nauseousness and fatigue, but it takes me from a craft-loving, blog-loving, gardening-loving, spring-cleaning-loving person into a total couch potato who only wants to eat salted potatoes. (Thank you Lord for Netflix….and Pride and Prejudice!)

But that is just about behind me now, and now I’m transitioning into super-nesting mode! One of the biggest thrills of this pregnancy is that we’re not going to be moving in the midst of it! I’ve had to move with both previous pregnancies during my 3rd trimester….cross-country. But we’ll be here the whole time and I’m so excited for that fact!

More chickens, gardening, and children! 2016 is looking to be a very good year indeed!